Is the current regulatory compact in anyone’s best interests?
Charles R. Dickerson is vice president, performance management and support services, for Pepco Holdings Inc. Darren Brady is executive vice president at Distributed Energy Financial Group LLC (DEFG), and previously served in executive positions at Five Point, EnerNOC, and Puget Sound Energy. Jamie Wimberly has served as CEO of DEFG since it was founded in 2003.
Customers are coming to the forefront in the utility industry, driven by technology and a greater desire to be in more control of areas that affect their daily lives. Changing customer expectations are changing the role of the utility. These changes at first might appear incremental if viewed through individual offerings or applications, but in reality they represent a transformational shift for utilities and the industry overall.
In today's always-on digital world, customers have become more demanding - and to some extent less forgiving in terms of how they expect to interact and engage with companies. For utilities, the change in customer expectations is affecting almost all facets of their business. This can be seen today through the range of communication channels that customers are requesting and that utilities are offering, as well as the proliferation of energy management tools and data in the hands of the customer; growth of renewable energy and environmentally friendly offerings; and increasing emphasis on system reliability - which in some cases is driving more customers to think about ways to reduce their reliance on the grid, but still requires utility assistance.